C3 Band-Live at West Alley BBQ-5/9/14 @cdrumbum90


For those who missed the C3 Band concert last night, here is the bulk of it (minus the opening “I’ll Play The Blues For you, sadly), recorded with my iPhone 5S using the Rode Rec app, which I highly recommend.

Jackson’s Morning Bell Records (@MorningBellJxn) Moves Into New Larger Digs, Adds Coffee and Food

Since the sad demise of Mississippi’s venerable Be-Bop Records chain several years ago, the sole survivor as far as vinyl and indie rock has been Morning Bell Records, a vinyl-oriented store with a strong local selection that has operated in Fondren’s Duling Hall for the last couple of years. That space, while cool, was exceptionally small, and Morning Bell, like many of today’s better record stores, is a venue for live performance as well as retail music, so toward the end of 2013, it moved to new quarters on I-55 north just north of Northside Drive, not far from the old iconic Bebop Record Shop location. The new, roomier space has allowed for the addition of a cafe, which will feature coffee drinks, baked goods and panini sandwiches, and the larger room should be an asset when live concerts occur there. Other than the move, the bigger room and the addition of espresso drinks, nothing much has changed. Morning Bell is still as hip as ever, and demonstrated the point admirably by playing bluesman Leo Welch’s new album Sabougla Voices as I was walking in.

Morning Bell Records
4760 I-55 N Frontage Rd
Suite A
Jackson, MS 39211
(769) 233-7468

Josh McClain’s Soul Seven Band Featuring Jay Bailey at Mr. P’s Hot Wings in Southwind

I had heard last week that there was a live band playing at Mr. P’s Hot Wings on Hacks Cross Road every Wednesday night, so I rolled out there last night to see for myself. The band was keyboardist Josh McClain’s Soul Seven Band, featuring a soulful singer named Jay Bailey, and they play every Wednesday from 7-10 PM, although last night’s set ended early because of the Grizzlies’ game coming on TV. The band was superbly funky, trading off between two different drummers on alternating tunes, and Bailey is a talented vocalist, with a repertoire that includes most Memphians’ favorite tunes, from Maze songs to Bobby Womack covers. I should add that the food at Mr. P’s is really good, much better than I would have expected. I tried the lemon-pepper boneless wings and was amazed.

Mr. P’s Hot Wings
3285 Hacks Cross Rd
Memphis, TN 38125-8918
(901) 756-5242

Great Barbecue In An Authentic Setting at Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt in Atlanta

I recall on a previous trip to Atlanta trying to get into Daddy D’z one night when they were having a live band playing, and ultimately giving up because there was no place to park at all. The neighborhood around Daddy D’z has gentrified somewhat since that night, but Daddy D’z still has the same old hole-in-the-wall ambiance. That atmosphere, and the alluring aroma of smoking pork was too much to resist, and so after my A3C panel was over, I headed straight over to Daddy D’z for lunch, and I was thrilled with the result. As a Memphian, I’m picky about barbecue, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect, as barbecue is different in different states and cities. What would Atlanta barbecue be like? I’m not sure if Daddy D’z is typical of Atlanta barbecue joints, but the barbecue was not that much different from GOOD Memphis barbecue. It was largely lean pulled pork, with plenty of smoke flavor, and a good, sweet sauce that was extremely complimentary rather than overbearing. The french fries were good as well, and there are a considerable number of down-home sides including beans, cole-slaw, corn on the cob and more. One unique difference from Memphis barbecue restaurants is that Daddy D’z offers cornbread, which is delicious and just ever-so-slightly sweet. Sadly, my waitress told me that live blues bands at Daddy D’z are largely a thing of the past, but the walls are still covered with paintings that highlight live music. All in all, Daddy D’z is a must-visit when in Atlanta.

Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt
264 Memorial Dr SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
(404) 222-0206

Incredible Burgers and Good Times at @BlueCanoeTupelo

I’ve been hearing about Blue Canoe for well over a year now, and I’ve been meaning to try it for some time. The live music schedule is great, and so I always figured that I would get down there to check out a band. Oddly, that still hasn’t happened, but since I had a jazz jam session in New Albany last week, I headed to Blue Canoe first to try a Smashburger (no relation to the Denver chain of the same name). Blue Canoe’s Smashburger is a thing of beauty, with Benton’s bacon crushed up into the patty itself. I opted to add cheese to it and avoid the vegetables, and it was truly amazing, easily rivaling Oxford’s Lamar Lounge for best burger in North Mississippi. The homemade french fries are long and thin, seasoned and fried to a golden brown, likely in peanut oil. I’m not a beer drinker, but the beer menu is loaded with regional craft beers from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee, and there is a large outdoor patio, and a stage for the live music. Some words of caution are in order, however. First, the inside seating area is fairly dark, and tends to be noisy. This is a bar atmosphere for sure, so this is not the place to bring your significant other for quiet drinks and conversation. Second, they’re not open on Sundays at all. But I will definitely be back to Blue Canoe, and I hope next time to hear a band.

No Blues in Holly Springs?

I had taken off work early on Thursday June 27th because I read online that there was live blues every Thursday night during the summer on the square in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Unfortunately, when I got to Holly Springs, there was not much going on at all, and certainly no signs of any live music. I spent the next half hour taking photographs around the courthouse square, and finally asked someone about the blues music on the square, and they told me that it would be starting up on the following week.

The Young Fellaz Brass Band Live at @VASO_NOLA

When I got back to New Orleans, I headed to a club called Vaso to check out the Young Fellaz Brass Band, one of a truly startling number of youthful inner city brass bands in New Orleans. Given the musical tradition of the city, it is perhaps not surprising that there are brass bands in New Orleans, but what is surprising is that so many of them are organized by young men from the inner city neighborhoods, men from the hip-hop generation that one would expect to be deeply into rap. As a matter of fact, many of New Orleans’ younger musicians are into rap, but the city’s brass band music and culture manages to maintain a considerable following with young people as well as tourists. For me, that is why this music is so important. Not only is a link to New Orleans’ storied musical past, but it is also a place of intersection where the street culture of young Black men is presented in a way that people of other backgrounds can appreciate and enjoy. Unfortunately, the city seems to be cracking down on brass band performance, increasingly relegating the music to clubs only. This is very unfortunate, in that there are more brass bands than there are clubs willing to book them, and young musicians have traditionally “cut their teeth” by performing on the streets. Besides that, brass band music is a street music, meant to be played outdoors. Something is of necessity lost when the music is moved indoors. As for the Young Fellaz, they are impressive to be as young as they are. With the exception of a conga player, they use their outdoor formula in the club, and get a good, full sound. They seem to have become the resident band for Vaso, so I’ll probably visit that club more frequently when I’m in the Crescent City.

A Cool History of Memphis Live Music On The Walls @MinglewoodHall

It seems like yesterday that Minglewood Hall opened as an exciting new live music venue in Memphis, the venerable old music city where live music has often been hard to find, surprisingly. One of the coolest thing’s about Minglewood’s more intimate space, the 1884 Lounge, is their decision to record the venue’s history by framing and displaying posters from many of the most memorable gigs in the building. Nobody has time or gigabytes to photograph every poster (and some are too high to get good photos of unless you’re on a ladder), but I spied posters from DJ Lil Larry, Yo Gotti, North Mississippi All-Stars, Trombone Shorty, Cedric Burnside, Lightning Malcolm and Jimbo Mathus. The diversity of genres is itself a tribute to the vision of Minglewood’s owners and management, against the backdrop of a city where there is often too much division. Support live music in Memphis, and the people like Minglewood that support it and keep it going.